June 2021

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Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

To capture the true mood of the region at this time – I must mention the cicadas. They are everywhere with their deafening singing and widespread flying. Well, it only happens every seventeen years. You likely have your own stories about the cicadas by now. What else is happening in the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council (CPGC) area?

Leadership Summit

The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) Council Leadership Summit will take place virtually, June 14-16, 2021. CPGC will be well represented. I plan to attend along with two of our board members. The Summit will enrich our council by providing a day and a half of engaging, learning and networking. Council leaders will participate in sessions and discussions around council diversity, membership growth and council administration. This is an opportunity for us to gather the tools and resources that will help us lead CPGC to success while collaborating with others doing similar work around the country.

At the Summit, I am taking part in a presentation: Council Finances & Sponsorships. Inez Bergquist, of the Minnesota Gift Planning Association and I will present of this topic. A large part of our presentation focuses on sponsorships and the importance of these relationships for councils. There are many benefits to being a sponsor. CPGC is grateful for the support of our sponsors. Thank You.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship with CPGC is a terrific opportunity to get in front of your target audience - planned giving professionals. As a sponsor, you want engagement and exposure to the dynamic and powerful pool of individuals within CPGC, namely: planned giving and development officers, attorneys, accountants, financial advisors and insurance executives. Are you or your organization interested in a sponsorship? If yes, please click here to see the various options and offerings. 

Lunchtime Program

In July, we would be thrilled to have you join us for our upcoming lunchtime program. We are highlighting women in philanthropy in Maryland. What a remarkable program that will provide a look at some of the time, talent and treasure of women in Maryland in philanthropy. This is exciting, I can hardly wait to learn more. Check here for information on our July 21st program and to register: https://www.chesapeakeplannedgiving.org/events.

Summer is upon us and the warm weather means lots of folks are headed out of town on vacation. This year, many will make trips that they postponed in the summer of 2020 due to the pandemic. If you are getting out of the office and taking advantage of summer travel - have a safe trip.

Thanks for your support and for more information on CPGC sponsorships, membership and events, please visit https://www.chesapeakeplannedgiving.org/. Join us on July 21st for our Summer event. There will also be time for us to do some networking prior to the start of the program. We’d love to see you and hear from you

All the best,
Aquanetta Betts
CPGC, President
Linkedin @AquanettaBetts 

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Five Ways to Connect With Colleagues—Without More Screen Time

Contributed by Associations Now

Employees battling Zoom fatigue? In an age of remote work already filled with screen time, there are still ways to bring coworkers together without a computer.

For the past year, organizations have worked to find new and creative ways to connect coworkers virtually. The primary solution has been video calls and virtual events, but professionals are getting enough screen time as it is during the workday—too much, in fact. According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll, on behalf of Foster Grant, the increase in screen time during the pandemic is leading to burnout.

So how can remote employees connect without adding to the burnout? Consider these ideas.
Start a Postcard Exchange
Almost all communication is virtual these days, so a physical, handwritten note can offer a refreshing way to communicate. If your employees are spread out across multiple locations, ask them to join a postcard exchange in which coworkers write postcards to one another. They take only a minute to write, and employees get to learn a little more about each other.

Concerned about employee privacy? You can organize a postcard exchange centrally through your HR department to keep home addresses hidden.

Create Something Together
Send staffers an easy-to-complete kit that results in a finished product—anything from coasters to fortune cookies to hot sauce. Employees can complete them on their own, then share their work in a group chat or on the next video call.

Make Actual Phone Calls
Part of what makes screen time draining is … the screen. One-on-one phone calls can bring the same connection, minus the impetus to “perform.” Although face-to-face communication is important, it can be draining in a virtual setting. Opt for one less video call by turning a regular meeting, such as a weekly check-in with your manager, into an audio-only call.

Send a Care Package
Organizations can connect with their employees by sending a physical care package with some goodies and a written message that lets them know that the organization appreciates their contributions during a turbulent time.

If you want employees to connect with each other more directly, treat care packages like a secret Santa exchange and assign a recipient to each employee, who then puts together his or her own custom box. Once all care packages are sent, schedule a call with all employees to reveal who sent each package.

Plan Activities Over the Phone
Employees can bring back the casual camaraderie of office life by reinstating some office traditions—this time, over the phone.

For example, two coworkers who used to enjoy the occasional walk together can set up a 10-minute call during which they go for separate walks at the same time and talk on the phone. It’s a simple way to mimic an impromptu stroll you might take with a coworker when stepping out of the office for coffee. For an added connection, you can both describe what you’re seeing outside as you walk.


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4 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning & How to Help Donors Avoid Them

Contributed by the Stelter Company

An interview with Lynn Gaumer, J.D., Stelter's Senior Gift Planning Consultant. After ten years at Stelter, Lynn has been a partner in an incredible number of estate plans. She has great insight into the planned giving donor’s mindset.

Lynn has seen a lot of successful estate plans…and also seen many planning pitfalls.

Our Conversation

Nathan: Hi Lynn! thanks for joining me. Let’s talk about common mistakes in estate planning.

Q: What estate planning mistakes do you see most often?
Lynn: This subject is important. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of Americans (68%) do not have a will. For those of us involved in estate planning, we need to understand what drives people to create an estate plan—or not to create one.

The problem areas tend to fall into four themes:
  1. Failing to plan. The #1 mistake I see is failing to plan at all. Individuals need to prepare for the possibility of incapacity (see mistake #4) and make a thoughtful plan for their assets after their lifetime. It is especially important for those with large estates, minor and/or special needs children, real estate in multiple states or business interests.
  2. Failing to coordinate beneficiary designations. Having a will or trust is only part of the picture. A will only formalizes your wishes for assets left in your individual name. Assets, such as life insurance or retirement plans, pass outside of an individual’s will via a beneficiary designation. It is important to periodically review these designations so they mesh with your overall estate plan.
  3. Failing to review asset titles. Asset titling refers to the way in which you own an asset—such as in your individual name, jointly with someone else or in a trust or entity. Asset titling is an important part of estate planning. Assets titled in joint tenancy pass outside an individual’s will and to the surviving joint tenant. A person’s will could say that everything goes to the children equally, but if a bank account, for example, is held in joint tenancy with just one child, it would pass only to that child. The result is that the children receive unequal shares when the intention was to divide all assets equally.
  4. Failing to plan for disability or medical emergency. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6.2 million Americans 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Older generations (as well all competent adults) need to prepare for incapacity and create durable powers of attorney and advance directives or living wills.

Q: Why do these types of mistakes happen?
Lynn: There are many reasons people may make these mistakes. The ones that I hear most often are that the individual:
  • doesn’t think they have a large enough estate
  • doesn’t like to think about incapacity or death
  • didn’t set aside time
  • doesn’t know how to start the process and/or doesn’t have an estate planning attorney

Q: How can planned giving officers best help donors avoid these issues?
Lynn: Take care of your own estate plan first, so you can serve as a true resource for your donors. You will then be able to discuss with your donor your personal experience, from finding a local estate planning attorney to the questions that need to be answered along the way.

If you already have an estate plan, review your documents to determine if you need an update.

If you are among the majority of Americans who haven’t yet started the estate planning process, now is the perfect time to set up a meeting with an attorney to discuss your wishes. Your family members and heirs will be glad you did.

LYNN’S TOP TIP:
Help guide donors in their estate planning by taking care of your own estate plan first. Then you can discuss your personal experience with the process.

Q: What should planned giving officers do if they don’t know the answer to a donor’s estate planning question?

Lynn: Refer donors to their professional advisors. If they are not working with one, recommend that they find one. Referrals from family and friends are always a good place to start. If they look to you for a referral, I recommend that you provide the names of several professional advisors. I like to give a diverse list of at least 3-5 individuals—men, women, older, younger and from different backgrounds.

If your donor lives outside your local area, you can often find estate planning professionals on either The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) or the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) websites.

Q: Do you have any additional ways the planned giving industry can help donors?
Lynn: Don’t overlook the younger generation. I, like many donors, am no longer a parent of a minor. When we celebrated my daughter’s 18th birthday, we taught her that along with gaining numerous rights, this milestone comes with new legal responsibilities. Her father and I are no longer legally considered her representatives for medical or financial decisions. The law now enables—and requires—her to choose the person or people she trusts to make such decisions for her.

We discussed the implications of this change and encouraged her to meet with an estate planning attorney to craft these critical legal documents. One of the best gifts a parent can give a child as they grow into adulthood is guidance on planning for the unexpected. Young adults need to know about these important documents, as do all competent adults of any age.

Nathan: You’re absolutely right Lynn. My oldest is just 14 years old now, so I have a few years, but my wife and I will definitely be talking to him about this in the years to come. Thanks for spending time with us today!

Lynn: My pleasure.


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